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I'm Not Too Worried That My Son's a Gamer

A team at Dartmouth College followed 5,000 teenagers for a period of four years to track their video gaming and social habits. At the conclusion of the study, the results showed that teenagers who play violent computer games are more likely to drink, smoke and have unprotected sex and catch a sexually transmitted disease. The results suggest that becoming obsessed with video games that glorify risky behavior encourages adolescents to take more risks in life, fueled by the adrenaline coursing through their fingertips.

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Should I worry? Should I fret? My 12-year-old is a gamer too. He found out about his favorite game from his friends earlier this year, ever since you can rarely find him without his nose to his chest staring at his cell phone. He is obsessed with "Dragon City" and plays the game non-stop. The only thing is, "Dragon City" isn’t really violent at all. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

One evening my son and I were on Skype and he was filling me in on his day. “Look, Ma,” he said to me and placed the screen for his cell phone close to the camera so I could see it.

“What is it?” I asked him.

“It’s your dragon. I named it after you.”

“Well, send me a screen shot,” I requested. Moments later I smiled down at a pretty green dragon with long eyelashes.

Whenever psychology studies concerning children’s development pop up in my newsfeed, I become a little antsy wondering if my sons will become statistics.

It turns out "Dragon City" is about having your own city that you populate with dragons you have to care for. You work hard to earn gold coins to buy food for your dragons, and the more dragons you have, the more successful you are. You cross-breed dragons to create amazing hybrid dragons with unique powers, and each dragon is a special breed with a cool name.

My son named the Nature Dragon after me because he thinks I am down-to-earth. Isn’t that sweet? While other kids are mowing down random virtual strangers on the sidewalks in "Grand Theft Auto" my son is raising dragons — or dare I say, he’s raising a family.

My son is playing "Dragon City" but he’s actually living out his fantasy of being a father. Ever since I can remember, he’s talked about the 200 girls and 200 boys he wanted to have. He can cook, loves to clean, makes excellent grades in school, is very reasonable and wise. At 12 years old, I already know he will be the type of individual who will be able to handle the intricacies of life, and now with his dragon family growing to include more than 50 dragons, I can see that he will be a great father too.

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My baby takes great care of his dragons, which he says are very expensive to feed everyday but he is dedicated to doing it. Whenever psychology studies concerning children’s development pop up in my newsfeed, I become a little antsy wondering if my sons will become statistics. Maybe the smoking and drinking will come later, we all have to have our moment of experimenting and defiance. At least for right now, at the age of 12, he seems to be doing fine, completely engrossed in taking care of his 50 dragons in his little dragon city.

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